These are my local guys. Really local. Rahr & Sons is in Fort Worth, about an hour’s drive from McKinney. One of these days I’m going to have to visit the brewery.

Like one of my all-time favorite beers, this features a ugly dog on the label. The story behind the dog can also be found there: “Fritz saw his mother-in-law’s pug, Oscar, lounging in a chair and he (Fritz) shouted, ‘What an ugly pug!’ Everyone laughed. You’re right – they were drinking a test batch that night.”

So I put this Ugly Pug up to my nose and give it a good whiff. It smells strongly of dark chocolaty malt and brown sugar. It brings to mind chocolate cake batter with beer in it.

Taking my first swig, the first thought in my mind, the first word, is decent. Good. Drinkable. Not outstanding or eye-bulgingly wonderful, but definitely well crafted and enjoyable. The carbonation is a bit too enthusiastic, and the malt tastes a little on the burnt side, and there’s a slightly unpleasant taint of yeast.

It’s good. Really. If it wasn’t for those three little nitpicks, it would be groovy.

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